Like many a museum, Market Lavington is increasing its stock of oral histories. It is beginning to be a really wonderful resource. These personal memories paint a superb picture of past life in the parishes.
Our recoding people, Jonathan and Yvonne, are a former doctor and a nurse respectively. They are well known in the community and both well used to visiting people in their homes and talking to them.
They ask if people would be willing to take part and nothing is recorded without a consent form being signed. The idea is to have a friendly and relaxed time. A start is made by just chatting with the person so that the recorders know the areas of interest and expertise. Recording then begins with our interviewers able to keep the conversation flowing by their friendly questioning. The recordings last any length of time – a few minutes to best part an hour. It is just amazing to hear the memories flow.
At the moment the interviews are stored on computer file and made into a CD for audio playing. There is a growing collection of discs at the museum and these can be heard at any time by museum visitors. Some stewards love listening to them and have them running all the time.
Amongst recent interviews, Gilbert, who was a schoolboy during the years of the Second World War has wonderful memories of life at that time. Do others remember the artillery stored in the sunken lane, which leads from Drove Lane and past the manor?
The most recent recording is of May who recently turned 90. Her experiences as a scullery maid at Clyffe Hall and her work as a land girl during the second war make for truly memorable listening.